HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Driving Lessons Detour Ahead
Year: 2006
Director: Jeremy Brock
Stars: Julie Walters, Rupert Grint, Laura Linney, Nicholas Farrell, Oliver Milburn, Michelle Duncan, Jim Norton, Tamsin Egerton, Rose Keegan
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ben Marshall (Rupert Grint) is a taciturn teenage boy, seventeen and a half years of age and in the midst of driving lessons; the latest one has not gone well, ending as it has with a minor accident, but Ben's mother Laura (Laura Linney) has faith in him. That's not all she has faith in, as she is a devout Christian married to a man of the cloth, Ben's father Robert (Nicholas Farrell), and possibly having an affair with a junior vicar at their church. Laura has devised a play to pay tribute to the Lord, but the only part available to her son is that of a eucalyptus tree, which he dutifully takes. However, when Ben, looking for a part time job, applies to be the assistant to elderly actress Dame Evie Walton (Julie Walters), the eccentric changes his life forever...

I suppose she would or it wouldn't be much of a story. Although a film about the relationship between an garrulous old woman and a sensitive young man might be expected to have been inspired by Harold and Maude or similar, writer and director Jeremy Brock claimed his experiences as a teenage assistant to Dame Peggy Ashcroft were the starting point for this work. It's little wonder it took so quickly for Driving Lessons to show up on British television so soon after its cinema release, as, swearing apart, it is more suited to the small screen than the big. It's fairly predictable, with its would-be poet hero drawn out of his shell and finding his place in the world out of the shadow of his mother, and gaining the advice from Evie that he failed to secure from his ineffectual father.

Just in case you think that Brock is indulging in a spot of religion bashing with his depiction of the domineering mother, Ben's father is a reasonable type who displays the human face of Christianity. But it's Ben's adventures with Evie that take up the bulk of the action, after scene-setting sequences that mark out his hopeless attempts with the opposite sex and just how delicate his sensibilities are. His first encounter with the Dame opens with her letting fly a stream of expletives, not directed at Ben but at the bush she's trying to prune in her garden, all meant to show what an incorrigible old dear she really is. Walters can play this kind of character in her sleep, but acquits herself much as you'd expect here, persuading the mumbling Ben to take her on a camping trip that turns into an expedition to the Edinburgh Festival, much against his wishes. Of course, he has a great time, losing his virginity to a squeaky voiced P.A. but failing to support Evie when she needs it. All this is fine, and certainly more entertaining than a Harry Potter film, but there's a misty eyed, luvvie-esque air to it all, and Brock doesn't know how to bring events to a satisfying close. Music by Clive Carroll and John Renbourn.

[Tartan's Region 2 DVD has an interview with the two stars, a trailer and an audio commentary with the director. Nice menus, too.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4359 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: